Ah summer, the days are longer, the weather is sublime and it’s a great time to connect with friends and family. And it turns out, summer is also a great time to find creative ways to save money. Here are a few ways to put s’more moolah in your pocket this summer.
- Eat out at home
Great take-out style food recipes are abundant on sites like www.RachelRay.com, www.Pinterest.com and www.bonappetite.com. The average American family spends $225 a month on food away from home–that’s $2,700 a year!
- Be a Journal Joyrider
Write down what you value financially. Maybe it’s a vacation, maybe it’s a having a show-stopping home, or maybe it’s having a ton of cash in the bank. Take 10 minutes and puzzle through what you value and ask if it matches your spending habits.
- Take advantage of apps
There are many apps that can make quick work of your finances and help you reach your goals – whatever they are. Look at www.Mint.com, and the app Ibotta. Mint.com helps you see your overall financial picture and Ibotta finds rebates where you shop. You can then cash in your rebates for money or gift cards. Cha-Ching!
- Visit thrift stores
Thrift stores are not only economical but also incredibly green. You save money and the environment! But it’s not all about buying—take some of your beloved goods and get a donation sheet for a tax write-off or to a consignment shop for cash. Go online to find valuation guides for what you are donating. They will recommend what the used price would be.
- Look for free entertainment
Summer is great time to find free entertainment. Look for free concerts in park greens, farmer’s markets, and local theatre groups. Try taking a walk and talk with your partner or go for it and hike!
- Stick with generics
Generic or store brands can save you a lot of money. They are often made by the same manufacturer as the name brand.
- Turn it down!
Turn down your hot water heater. The manufacturer default setting for your hot water heater is 140 degrees. 140 degrees is really hot and you run the risk of being scalded. Turning it down to 120 will not only keep you safe, but also save you money.
- Go au naturel (with your laundry)!
Letting clothes air dry outside can save a lot of money on electricity or laundromat bills and you don’t need a big back yard. Apartment dwellers, renters and condo owners can use a smaller clothes rack to hang clothes.
- Bring your own food
There is lot of fresh seasonal food available in the summer. It’s easy to throw together some salad and a piece of fruit for lunch and snacks. Not only are the food items in season and less expensive but you may also be able to save on your medical bills by eating healthier and staying healthier.
- Lights, action….lights!
With daylight hours lasting longer, electricity use should be way down. Use that extra money to upgrade your light bulbs to LED lighting. LED lights consume 90% less power than old fashioned incandescent bulbs. You can often find them on sale at discount box stores.